Black Beetle : Night Shift #0
Colt City 1941, a dark & dangerous city where one man fights for truth & justice… The Black Beetle! In tonight’s exciting episode…A valuable amulet known as the Hollow Lizard is being kept at the Colt City Natural History Museum, but an ancient cult known as the Black Priests intend to steal it for their own sinister purposes. When the cult hires nazi goons called the Werwolf Korps to attempt to snatch the amulet incident free, their plan is thwarted by the black Beetle, Colt City’s mysterious avenger! Will the Black Priests evil plot succeed? Will The Black Beetle rescue the damsel and save the day? Stay tuned!
Written, produced & directed by Francesco Francavilla (Zorro Year One Vol. 1 & 2, Sorrow), Released by Dark Horse Studios.
The Pros & Cons
Take a flying leap Rocketeer, cower in your shadows The Shadow, quit while you’re ahead Lobster Johnson, there’s a new mysterious crime fighter battling evil doers and his name is… the Black Beetle. I won’t lie, pulp heroes aren’t my thing, but I believe in giving credit where credit’s due. I’m always impressed when a creator handles all the duties on a comic book. This is a well written and well illustrated comic by Francesco Francavilla, a name that quite frankly I’ve never heard of. The Black Beetle’s world is heavily influenced from other pulp heroes like the ones I’ve mentioned above. His costume is a mash between Batman & Blue Beetle and like Gotham City, Colt City is a fictional place.
Francavilla’s writing is straight forward with colourful characters, pulse pounding action and suspense. He has cleverly divided the issue into 3 chapters with each chapter ending with its own little suspenseful cliff hanger ending, just like those serialized movies from the 1930’s & 1940’s. It’s also hard to not compare it to Indiana Jones with its Third Reich villains, ancient cults & biblical artefacts. The illustrations are where it’s at, dark & rich characters drawn into larger than life panels with the just right amount of shadows displayed with action scenes with bold lettering. His pencilling style reminds me of Matt Wagner with round edges & slick leather clad costumes with black boots.
I have to be honest here this was a tough review to write. This is without a doubt, a beautiful looking book. If you’re a fan of this stuff, then you’re gonna eat it up like Kirsty Alley wolfing down the last remaining Twinkie, but I will respectfully pass on this series, not because it sucks, but because it’s just not my cup of tea.